Most of us use Gmail as our primary email and new mail are knocking our inbox so fast that we couldn’t even manage to read all the emails, and are just ignored. To stop such habits we must learn some habit of being Gmail Master. One of the keys to staying productive with email is to not spend so much time in it. Instead of checking email every five minutes, try to dig into to it a few times a day and just hammer through it.
Using Gmail is secure, so it’s always goodbye to Yahoo and other mailing services. Here, we have listed some tips to make a productive use of Gmail Mailing service and become a wise Gmail Master.
Going through Gmail’s Lab
Before you become Gmail master you’ll need to go into the settings in your Gmail account and enable some of the Labs features. There are a lot of experimental Labs features but you won’t need all of them, just a select few.
- Auto-advance: This will give you the ability to move on to the next email as soon as you hit send, archive, delete, etc. By default, after you hit send you will be directed back to your inbox where you will then need to select the next email that you want to deal with. Auto-advance skips this and just takes you to the next email automatically. One step eliminated. I’ve just discovered this Labs feature and it has been such a time saver.
- Background Send: With background send enabled there is no waiting for the email to send before you move onto the next email. This means that you don’t need to twiddle your thumbs as you wait for Auto-advance to move you onto your next email.
- Send & Archive: Usually when you send an email the read email stays in your inbox which means you will also need to archive it to get it out of your inbox. Send & Archive changes your send button to a Send & Archive button, again, eliminating a step.
- Undo Send: Sometimes we send emails off a little too quickly and we either forget to add something or possibly say something we shouldn’t. This Labs feature gives us a brief window to hit the undo button and make the changes as needed.
These Labs features will get you started on your path to being a Gmail master but feel free to give some of the others a try as well.
Make use of Filter
Managing an inbox is no easy task, but Gmail has tools to help. You can turn any search into a filter that can then be actioned: search for emails “from:Facebook”, for example, then create a filter to mark these messages as read and archive them (assuming you don’t want to know what’s happening on Facebook, of course). Or build a filter to match the email addresses of your nearest and dearest, then mark these messages as important to ensure you never miss an email from your better half. Filters can promote important messages and downgrade the clutter before you’ve even logged in.
Using Gmail’s Shortcuts from Keyboard
The fastest way to become a Gmail master is to navigate through Gmail by forgetting about your mouse completely and only use the keyboard.
Before working out with Keyboard shortcuts features, don’t forget to enable the Keyboard Shortcuts.
Here are a few of my favorites that help speed up my workflow:
- Shift + ?: This one is probably the most important. This will bail you out if you ever forget any of the Gmail keyboard commands.
- j / k: Move to the next / previous email. This works in your inbox or if you are reading an email.
- e : Archives the current email.
- shift + 3 : Deletes the current email. This one isn’t documented because Google likes you to think that you never need to delete an email, just archive it. I feel I don’t need archive every email. Some are just not that important.
- r : Typing r while reading an email will open up the reply text area at the end of the email.
- tab + enter : There isn’t really a command for Send & Archive but if you hit the tab key (highlights the Send & Archive button) and then the enter key (same as clicking on the highlighted button) after you type out the reply, you will be able to Send & Archive from the keyboard.
- s : Stars the current email.
- l : when you type l, the label drop down box will show and you can add whatever label you like to the message that you are reading.
Make the most of search
You would expect a Google product to excel in search. It’s not always obvious, but the Gmail search box has more flexibility than you might think—click the drop-down arrow to the right to see all the options on offer. Look for emails with attachments, then delete these messages if you want to free up some room in your account perhaps. Or, if you’re searching for an email from a particular sender, streamline the search with a “TK:TK” command.
If you have a particular search query—emails from your birthday last year, the year before, or any year, say—you can dig them up and relive the moment. Of course, how well this works depends on how many emails you received from friends and family to mark the occasion, and how many were auto-generated greetings from the forums and mailing lists you’ve signed up for.
Split your inboxes
Via the Inbox tab of the Gmail Settings page, you can customize how your emails are ordered on screen and utilize Google’s unique Priority Inbox feature. But wait, there’s more! Delve into the Labs page and you can activate an Outlook-style Preview Pane (particularly handy on bigger monitors) or a Multiple Inboxes feature.
The latter option adds a new tab to the Settings screen where you can configure three independent panes matching the search queries of your choice. See starred (by searching for “is:starred”), unread (is:unread) and important (is:important) messages alongside each other. Or you can group emails matching three different labels (label:labelname)—the choice is yours. Note: you’ll need to deactivate Priority Inbox for Multiple Inboxes to work.
Work the labels
Labels are one of Gmail’s best features. Labels make searching through thousands of emails much easier. Make sure you use them.
Remember that filters can apply labels automatically for you if want. They can also help you clear out clutter in your Gmail account too—you can enter “label:newsletter before:2011/01/01” into the search box and then get busy with the delete key, for example, if you have a newsletter filter set up.
Am I Gmail Master?
Obviously, after you make a proper use of Gmail using all above tips and ideas, then in a seconds you are a Gmail Master. This ‘how to’ has definitely saved you some precious time to do other important stuffs, like sharing this articles to your friends. They will be glad too.